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PICS: Thakur, Bumrah rally India after batsmen fail

Last updated on: September 03, 2021 00:00 IST
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Images from Day 1 of the fourth Test between England and India, at The Oval, on Thursday.

India's Shardul Thakur hits a six during his gutsy 57, on Day 1 of the fourth Test against England, at The Oval in London, on Thursday.

IMAGE: India's Shardul Thakur hits a six during his gutsy 57, on Day 1 of the fourth Test against England, at The Oval in London, on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Shardul Thakur excelled with the bat, scoring a counter-attacking half-century, but it wasn't enough to save India from another batting disaster on the opening day of the fourth Test, at The Oval, on Thursday.

The pacer saved the tourists the blushes with a sensational 57 off 36 balls that helped them put up 191 in their first innings after being reduced to 117 for 6.

 

In reply, England’s batsmen fared no better. Thanks to Jasprit Bumrah's menacing opening spell, India ended the day with honours even.

At stumps, England were 53 for 3, having lost openers Rory Burns (5) and Haseeb Hameed (0) to the extra pace and bounce generated by Bumrah (6-2-15-2).

Shardul Thakur celebrates on completing 50.

IMAGE: Shardul Thakur celebrates on completing 50. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Umesh Yadav (6-1-15-1) bowled an off-cutter late in the evening in his second spell to breach the defences of the in-form Joe Root (21) and enable India end the day on a high.

That Indian shoulders didn't droop after being reduced to 127 for 7 was all because of a man playing only his fourth Test.

England opener Rory Burns is bowled by Jasprit Bumrah.

IMAGE: England opener Rory Burns is bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Justifying his tag as a bowling all-rounder, Shardul added 63 for the eighth wicket with Umesh to take the total closer to 200 mark, which had looked improbable after another "brain fade" dismissal from Rishabh Pant.

India lasted just 61.3 overs, with Cheteshwar Pujara (10) and especially Ajinkya Rahane's (14) failures becoming glaring enough and couldn't be papered over by skipper Virat Kohli (50 off 96 balls), who played some gorgeous strokes en route his half-century.

Save those couple of half-centuries, none of the Indian batters crossed the 20-run mark.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammates after dismissing England opener Haseeb Hameed.

IMAGE: India pacer Jasprit Bumrah is congratulated by teammates after dismissing England opener Haseeb Hameed. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

For England, Chris Woakes (15-6-55-4) was splendid in his comeback game and no praise would be enough for the fast-rising Ollie Robinson (17.3-9-38-3), who bowled a couple of beauties to get rid of K L Rahul and Kohli.

Anderson bowled one of his classic "in-out" (swinging in and shaping out) delivery to send Pujara back and Rahane was Overton's victim with Moeen Ali not even required to bowl a single over.

India pacer Umesh Yadav celebrates with teammates after dismissing England captain Joe Root.

IMAGE: India pacer Umesh Yadav celebrates with teammates after dismissing England captain Joe Root. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

When India bowled, Bumrah bowled one that had extra bounce with inward movement after pitching which Burns dragged back to his stumps.

Hameed got one on the off-stump that climbed on him as he tried to slash it but Pant took a smart catch to make it wicket No 99 for Bumrah.

However, after a few loose deliveries, Umesh brought joy back into the India camp with Root's dismissal in the penultimate over.

Morning session:

England pacer Chris Woakes celebrates after Jonny Bairstow catches India opener Rohit Sharma early on Day 1 of the fourth Test, at the Oval in London, on Thursday.

IMAGE: England pacer Chris Woakes celebrates after Jonny Bairstow catches India opener Rohit Sharma early on Day 1. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Earlier, England's seamers, bolstered by the inclusion of Chris Woakes, again tormented India’s top-order batsmen, leaving them reeling on 54 for 3 by lunch.

India's openers Rohit Sharma (11) and K L Rahul (17), after showing initial promise, were done in by high quality seam bowling, while Cheteshwar Pujara (4) got one from James Anderson that could easily qualify to be the "ball of the series".

At the lunch break, Virat Kohli (batting 18) was soldiering on in the company of Ravindra Jadeja (batting 2), who was promoted at No. 5 ahead of two out-of-form batters -- Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant -- under cloudy conditions.

England pacer Ollie Robinson celebrates after trapping K L Rahul leg before wicket.

IMAGE: England pacer Ollie Robinson celebrates after trapping K L Rahul leg before wicket. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

England captain Joe Root called it right at the toss and knowing India's struggling batting line-up, promptly put them in to bat.

Both Rohit and Rahul punished the loose deliveries from Anderson and 28 runs were added within first 35-odd minutes before Woakes (5-4-4-1) was brought into the attack, replacing the senior-most pacer, who looked a bit tight during that spell.

A fuller delivery outside the channel with extra bounce saw the normally patient Rohit jabbing at it and the catch was taken by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

England pacer Jimmy Anderson celebrates with Jonny Bairstow and teammates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara.

IMAGE: England pacer Jimmy Anderson celebrates with Jonny Bairstow and teammates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Rahul, who had already hit three boundaries, was ready to pounce on anything over-pitched outside the off-stump before Ollie Robinson (8-6-8-1) got one to jag back sharply from a length and television replays showed that the ball would have clipped the bail. The on-field umpire's decision was upheld.

Kohli joined Pujara, who was again defending dourly save the one that got on his pads, which was clipped to the boundary.

However, Anderson (8-1-28-1), who has dismissed Pujara more times than his skipper, bowled a delivery just in the corridor of uncertainty.

India captain Virat Kohli shares a light moment with James Anderson.

IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli shares a light moment with James Anderson. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Pujara played for the inswing but once it pitched, the ball took the outside edge into Bairstow's gloves.

At 39 for 3, there was more surprise in store as Jadeja walked in, perhaps to unsettle the bowlers with a left-right combination going for them.

The skipper, during the 29 balls he faced, looked more assured with his trigger movement as the right leg seemed more planted on the middle-stump as he got three boundaries.

He will need a big one to rescue India and keep the criticism for excluding premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin at bay despite popular opinion to the contrary.

Post-Lunch session:

England skipper Joe Root, at first slip, fails to hold on to a catch from India skipper Virat Kohli, off the bowling of Chris Woakes.

IMAGE: England skipper Joe Root, at first slip, fails to hold on to a catch from India skipper Virat Kohli, off the bowling of Chris Woakes. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Skipper Virat Kohli was unable to convert a good start into a much-needed three-figure knock and India were left struggling against a high-quality England seam and swing attack on 122 for 6 at tea.

 

He looked a few notches above his other batting colleagues, hitting some delectable cover drives, before the fast-rising Ollie Robinson (16-9-24-2) got one to rear up as he closed his bat face to provide Jonny Bairstow a regulation catch.

Chris Woakes celebrates after dismissing Ravindra Jadeja

IMAGE: Chris Woakes celebrates after dismissing Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

India’s leading batsman was out for 50 off 96 balls and India in a tight spot.

The reprieve he got when Joe Root dropped him at slips off Chris Woakes (10-5-19-2) hardly mattered as Kohli, despite scoring eight well-timed boundaries, was again consumed outside the off-stump.

Following his fifty, Kohli became the fastest to reach 23,000 runs in international cricket. He achieved the feat in his 490th innings. It was his 27th half-century in the longest format.

Virat Kohli bats en route to his 50.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli goes down on one knee to drive the ball to the boundary. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run-getter in international cricket, with 34,357 runs, followed by Kumar Sangakkara (28,016) and Ricky Ponting (27,483).

Kohli is placed No. 7 in the list of leading run-getters and is closing in on Rahul Dravid's record of 24,208 runs.

On either side of Kohli's dismissals during the session was Ravindra Jadeja (10) and Ajinkya Rahane (14)'s ejection from the crease, which pretty much summed up another batting debacle.

Ollie Robinson celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli.

IMAGE: Ollie Robinson celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Jadeja, coming out at No.5 to protect an out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane, was bizarre and it didn't take much time for Woakes to get him to nick one into the palms of Root.

For Rahane, time is simply running out after yet another failure. The fact that he needed to be hid behind Jadeja under the pretence of having a left-right combination said it all.

Craig Overton (11-2-30-1) ended the Indian vice-captain's misery with his opposite number Moeen Ali taking a sharp, low catch at third slip to increase India's woes.

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